Photos: 2nd Annual YDUA Conference Held In Malawi

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The 2nd annual conference of  Young Democrat Union of Africa (YDUA) took place in Malawi from  4th OCtober to 8th October,2021.

The Young Democrat Union Of Africa(YDUA) is a coalition of all youth wings of centre-right political parties in Africa. YDUA also stands as the youth wing of the Democrat Union of Africa

Formed in the year 2019, with its first elected female President (H. E. Louisa Atta-Agyemang) in 2020, the organisation is quickly adjusting and positioning itself to reach young democrats across the African Continent.
This year’s conference was with the theme: MOVING FROM ASPIRATIONS TO ACTION: YOUNG PEOPLE’S ENGAGEMENT IN NATIONAL, CONTINENTAL, AND GLOBAL
The Vice President of Ghana, His Excellency Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia who was one of the notable dignitaries from Africa that graced the much-publicised conference  delivered the keynote address.
Dr Mahamudu Bawumia during his virtual address called for increased access to quality education for young people by African governments.
Other speakers at the conference include: ● Hon. Eisenhower Mkaka (Secretary General of the Malawi Congress Party) ● Dr. Holger Dix (Director of the Regional Programme Political Dialogue for Sub- Saharan Africa, Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung) ● Hon. McHenry Venaani (Chairman, Democrat Union of Africa) ● Prof.Mario Voigt (Member, State Parliament – Germany, Chairman, Standing Committee on Election and Campaigning – IDU) ● Dr. Samson Lembani (Chief Advisor to the President on Public Policy and Governance) ● Hon. Christopher Mark Said (Organising Secretary, Kenya Young Members of County Assembly) ● Hon. Joseph Kalimbwe (Secretary for Information and Publicity UPND, Zambia) ● Chimwemwe David Tsitsi (Lecturer (Political Communication), Malawi University of Business and Applied Sciences) ● Rt. Hon. Catherine Gotani Hara (Speaker of Parliament of Malawi) and others.
President of the YDUA H. E. Louisa Atta-Agyemang addressing patrons said: ” Ladies and gentlemen, in our quest to protect the greatest form of human-invented governing system, DEMOCRACY, we have had the task of ensuring that the owners of the future are properly situated in the equation, and I am immensely happy that the concern of everyone here, is to protect the gains made”.
Below is the Full opening Address To YDUA BY H. E. LOUISA ATTA- AGYEMANG
“When the world seems large and complex, we need to remember that the great world ideals all began in a neighborhood.” great world ideals all began in a neighborhood.”
These are the words of Cologne born, University of Bonn trained lawyer and first Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany, Konrad Adenaur.
 Indeed, the ideals of a forward thinking democracy lives with us! – Our Guest of Honor, the Secretary General of the Malawi Congress Party, Hon. Dr. Eisenhower Mkaka, – Your Excellency, the Vice President of Ghana, Dr. Alhaji Mahamud Bawumia – The Chief Advisor to the Malawian President on Public Policy and Governance, Dr. Samson Lembani, – Government officials of the Republic of Malawi – The Chairman of the Democrat Union of Africa, Hon McHenry Venaani – The Vice Chairman of IDU, the electioneering master planner, Chairman Mac Manu – Hon. Samuel Awuku, Former IYDU Vice Chair – Prof Mario Voigt, – Officials of Malawi Congress Party – Officials of sister political parties – Youth Leaders present – Friends from both Local and International Media – All other protocols duly acknowledged – Ladies and Gentlemen As the youth population of this very continent continues to remain the dominant majority, there is every need to prioritize, as a matter of urgency, issues of the youth especially when it has all to do with governance and leadership. More to it, is the prevalence of youth challenges confronting the very people we should be taking steps to protect.
Ladies and gentlemen, in our quest to protect the greatest form of human-invented governing system, DEMOCRACY, we have had the task of ensuring that the owners of the future are properly situated in the equation, and I am immensely happy that the concern of everyone here, is to protect the gains made.
Over the last few months, myself and the team at YDUA have had the daunting task of steering the affairs of this young union in a perilous time.
 For us, like many other young people across the continent, our commitment to our duty has always been strong and even the monstrous COVID – 19 could not tame our urge to lay a solid foundation for the all new YDUA that was created. At the core of our vision was to:
 1. Establish proper internal structures to ensure smooth operations of the Union 2. Establish a clear brand and identity for the Union
3. Establish a strong voice of advocacy and activism for young people, our political ideology and against political oppression on the continent.
 4. Establish a mobilization and organization mechanism for young people on the continent that will provide opportunities, empowerment and fraternal belonging to many In pursuing our vision, we sought to create a fluid relationship, one that is built on understanding, and common grounds with our parent union, International Democrat Union and the Democrat Union of Africa. We also had to focus on the relations between us and the Konrad Adenauer Foundation.
Gladly, we have enjoyed nothing but pure support, guidance and mentorship from these outfits, which continue to be the backbone of our building process. To promote strong structures, we formed a team of skilled and brilliant young people which we drew from different parts of the continent, to join the YDUA board in various committees.
They worked hard to create the needed systems and structures that we have instituted to propel YDUA in the days ahead. At this point, I humbly crave your indulgence to join me observe a minute silence to one of such souls, who was working so hard towards this conference but sadly lost his life on the night of August 1st 2021, Hon.Mthokozisi Nxumalo who served as an MP and a Deputy Chief Whip of South Africa Parliament and General Secretary to our communications and information committee.
Rest well true son of Africa. Pivotal to our work, we sought to create a strong brand for the Union. We worked hard with our PR team and brand experts to ensure our brand materials and communiques were presented in a way that projected the values of Center-Right ideologies without missing out on professionalism.
Towards this key milestone, we took bold steps such as  Setting up and ensuring the consistent operation of our social media handles  Establishing a website that represents the official channel of communication of the Union. I am proud to announce that in our short while of existence we have initiated and fully completed an official website for YDUA with the address www.ydua.org Guest of Hon, YDUA under my humbled leadership, has viewed issues of political oppression as a seed that is inimical to the growth of the democracy we have all hoped for.
We focused on supporting politically oppressed parties. The arrest of Chadema Party leaders before and after their election was one such key issue that the Union embarked on full advocacy and activism on.
For which we shall continue to make our voices heard on the matter. In the words of Martin Luther King Jnr. The ultimate tragedy is not the oppression of the wicked people but the silence of good people.
 We will continue to be fearless in our advocacy in the face of this political oppression. Guest of Honor , your excellences, the future of this continent must not be left to chance or luck, leaders of now must be conscious to create a beautiful future for the leaders of tomorrow.
Our efforts must be guided by preparing our young people to take over the coming years. We have this period to put a lot of effort into mobilization and training of our young people to get ready for the political task ahead.
 We have through the organization of various forms of Webinars engaged our young people in capacity building tools. Ladies and Gentlemen, regardless of the constraints, our team was able to organize our maiden conference and election monitoring in Ghana, in December 2020.
This was highly participated in by a lot of youth leaders of various political parties across the continent. We had detailed training from our various facilitators from Konrad ,NPP and other quarters, we then moved to the grounds to get involved in election monitoring and campaigning processes for the NPP. Youth wing leaders, Youth brigade leaders, youth front commanders, young MP’s and others brought their experience and knowledge to bear, which in all culminated into the success of the programme.
Guest of Honor, YDUA can gladly say we played an active role in the victory of the NPP, Ghana. We further paid a courtesy call on the former President of Ghana and former AU Chairman H.E. John Agyekum Kuffour, an experience that brought so much joy to my colleagues.
 Ladies and Gentlemen, the challenge is never the fact that young people do not know that they own the future, we are aware of that, what is left is for us regardless of the circumstances, is to take an active part in building the future. In our own quest to build a YDUA that is strong and resilient, we will be embarking on a MOBILISATION SUPPORT DRIVE (MSD), an initiative that will go to provide various forms of training modules to various youth wings of our political parties.
The aim is to enhance the abilities of members and ensure they are beneficial to their mother parties. We will develop various modules in:
1. Women Mobilization
2. Polling Assistant Training
3. Grass root votes canvassing
4. Digital and Social media political campaign
5. Campaign financing and several others Guest of Honor , I understand how difficult the implementation of this project will be, but I have my assurances in the experiences and expertise that are available to as through DUA and in an era of both face to face and digital platforms, this dream is possible.
 Ladies and Gentlemen, on activism, plans are far advanced in our quest to improve on women involvement in leadership and governance, our strategy is set to tackle the challenge from their base, hence, we are working on a project that will create training and mentorship platform for growing females in high schools across the continent.
 The goal is to introduce the concept of female empowerment to young females at an early stage. Ladies and Gentlemen, in our desire to create a more vibrant youth front, we will introduce our Peer Learning Program, which will focus on running exchange programs between member parties.
This will help member parties learn from other countries and incorporate some best practices working in other countries with their strategies to aid their activities.
“The growth of political activism hinges on the efforts of already strong arms to pull everyone along”. Guest Of Honor , the prevalence of dormant party membership is not a good step in building a resilient union. All efforts must as a matter of urgency be put into supporting and getting all members actively involved in our act programmes .
I have hopes we can achieve a lot together, and I am committed to working at it. Ladies and Gentlemen , one of my greatest ambitions is to see a YDUA that is administratively established and operational with a secretariat running the daily activity of the union. In the months ahead this shall be at the core of our goal and we shall actively work to achieve this.
Ladies and Gentlemen, the future is coming, the future is here, the time where young people move their aspirations into action is now. We have a duty as a people with the opportunity to move our ideas into action, actions that build a prosperous Africa for all.
An important part is the need to be actively involved in continental and global politics, we must be actively involved in proposing viable plans to build our countries, praise when due and criticize actions that kills our progress, especially our democratic gains, like that of the actions of President Samia Suluhu Hassan and her tyrannical rule and indiscriminate imprisonment of her opponents in Tanzania.
As young people, we will do bigger things together. Once again, I welcome us all to the beautiful City of Lilongwe. Essentially I am grateful you accepted our invitation to work for the future of this beautiful continent.
 In our work towards organizing this year’s conference we have received wide range of support from Konrad Adenauer Foundation., which has served as our base and most reliable partner, the New Patriotic Party of Ghana, Malawi Congress Party, Democratic Party of Cote d’Ivoire – African Democratic Rally, DUA Our mother Union.
We also extend our greatest appreciation to our speakers and facilitators, especially my mentor and coach Mr. Samuel Awuku for his enormous support for this union. “

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